Coimbra, Portugal

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Coimbra, Portugal

Region: Coimbra, Portugal is located in the municipality of Coimbra

Geographic Coordinates: 40.211100, -8.429200
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 30.0°C (50°F to 86°F)
Climate: Seasonal.
Population: 143396
Language: Portuguese

Coimbra, Located in central Portugal on the banks of the Mondego River, Is a city with a rich history and stunning architecture. It was once the capital of Portugal during the Middle Ages and has been an important center for education and culture ever since. The University of Coimbra, Founded in 1290 by King Dinis, Is one of Europe’s oldest universities. Its main building, Paço das Escolas, Is a magnificent example of Baroque architecture with intricate details and ornate decorations. The library at the university houses over 300, 000 volumes including rare manuscripts dating back to medieval times.

Almedina Arch is one of Coimbra’s most famous landmarks. This impressive hilltop fortress dates back to Roman times and provides visitors with breathtaking views over the city and surrounding countryside. Coimbra also boasts an impressive collection of museums that showcase its cultural heritage including Museu Nacional Machado de Castro which houses artifacts from Roman times through to modern day Portugal. Another must-visit museum in Coimbra is Museu da Ciência which focuses on scientific discoveries made by Portuguese explorers throughout history.

Visitors can also explore some beautiful churches such as Sé Velha (Old Cathedral) which dates back to the 12th century or Igreja de Santa Cruz (Holy Cross Church) where important Portuguese figures are buried including King Afonso Henriques who founded Portugal in 1143 AD. Beyond its historical significance, Coimbra offers plenty for visitors looking for a more contemporary experience too. Visitors can enjoy shopping at Forum Coimbra mall or take a stroll through Jardins da Quinta das Lágrimas park which features beautiful gardens along with fountains and waterfalls. no visit to Coimbra would be complete without experiencing Fado music.

Coimbra is famous for its unique style of Fado characterized by a more upbeat tempo and lyrics that often focus on love and university life. Visitors can enjoy live Fado performances at local bars or restaurants. Coimbra offers visitors a unique blend of history, Culture, And modernity. Its stunning architecture, Rich cultural heritage, Prestigious university, Museums and beautiful parks make it an ideal destination for travelers who want to experience the best Portugal has to offer.

Important Landmarks

  1. The University of Coimbra is one of Europe’s oldest universities, established in 1290 and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.
  2. The Biblioteca Joanina, an exquisite baroque library located within the University of Coimbra, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  3. The Sé Velha is a Romanesque cathedral that dates back to the 12th century and has Gothic and Baroque elements added over time.
  4. The Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha was once an abandoned monastery for centuries before being restored as a museum and cultural center.
  5. Quinta das Lágrimas is a historical estate with stunning gardens that are famous for their association with Pedro and Inês de Castro’s tragic love story.
  6. Portugal dos Pequenitos is a miniature theme park featuring scaled-down replicas of Portuguese landmarks and buildings from around the world.
  7. Convento de Santa Clara-a-Nova is an impressive Baroque convent built in the 17th century, now serving as a museum exhibiting religious art and artifacts.
  8. Jardim Botânico da Universidade de Coimbra houses thousands of plant species from Portugal and beyond, making it the university’s botanical garden.
  9. Museu Nacional Machado de Castro displays archaeological finds and artwork from throughout Portuguese history at an old bishop’s palace turned museum.
  10. The Torre da Universidade de Coimbra (Clock Tower) overlooking Praça da República is one of Coimbra’s most recognizable landmarks.

Primary Industries

  1. Education: Coimbra is home to one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Europe, the University of Coimbra. The university attracts a large number of students from all over the world.
  2. Healthcare: The city has several hospitals and clinics that offer quality healthcare services to its residents.
  3. Technology: Coimbra has a growing technology industry with several startups and established companies operating in the city.
  4. Tourism: The city is a popular tourist destination due to its rich history, cultural heritage, and natural beauty.
  5. Agriculture: Agriculture is an important industry in Coimbra with many farms producing crops like grapes, olives, and vegetables.
  6. Manufacturing: The city has several manufacturing companies that produce goods like textiles, ceramics, electronics, and machinery.
  7. Retail: There are many shops and markets in Coimbra selling a wide range of products including clothing, food items, souvenirs etc.
  8. Services sector: A variety of services such as banking & finance; legal & accounting; real estate etc are also present here providing employment opportunities for people living here.

Noteable History

  1. The University of Coimbra: Founded in 1290, the University of Coimbra is one of the oldest universities in Europe and has played a significant role in Portuguese history and culture.
  2. The Battle of Aljubarrota: Fought near Coimbra in 1385, this battle was a key moment in Portuguese history as it secured the country’s independence from Castile.
  3. Infante Dom Pedro: One of Portugal’s greatest heroes, Infante Dom Pedro led Portugal to victory against Castile at the Battle of Aljubarrota.
  4. King John III: A monarch who reigned during the height of Portugal’s empire-building era, John III was instrumental in establishing diplomatic relations with other European powers and expanding Portuguese territories overseas.
  5. Joanina Library: This stunning Baroque library was built during the 18th century and houses some of Portugal’s most important historical documents and literary works.
  6. Fado music: Although not originally from Coimbra specifically, fado music has deep roots in Portuguese culture and is an important part of Coimbra’s cultural heritage today.
  7. Monastery Santa Clara-a-Nova: This beautiful monastery dates back to the 17th century and is known for its intricate tile work, ornate altarpieces, and peaceful gardens.
  8. Machado de Castro Museum: Named after one of Portugal’s most famous sculptors (who was born in Coimbra), this museum showcases some incredible examples from his career as well as other works by artists throughout history.

Museums and Things To See

  1. The University of Coimbra is a prestigious institution and a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its rich history.
  2. Visitors can explore the ornate Biblioteca Joanina, which houses an impressive collection of books within the university.
  3. The Machado de Castro National Museum showcases Portuguese art and artifacts from various time periods, making it a must-visit for history buffs.
  4. The Santa Cruz Monastery boasts stunning Gothic and Baroque architecture and was once home to Portugal’s first two kings’ tombs.
  5. Architecture enthusiasts will appreciate the Renaissance design of the New Cathedral of Coimbra, complete with intricate carvings and an impressive bell tower.
  6. Nature lovers can explore over 1200 plant species from around the world at the Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra, including rare specimens from South America and Africa.
  7. Families with young children will enjoy Portugal dos Pequenitos, a miniature park featuring small-scale replicas showcasing traditional Portuguese architecture.
  8. History buffs can stay at Quinta das Lágrimas Palace Hotel & Spa, where Portugal’s tragic love story between Pedro I and Inês de Castro took place in the 14th century.
  9. The Conímbriga Roman Ruins offer visitors a glimpse into ancient Roman life in Portugal as it was once an important trade center in that region.
  10. The Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro is an art museum that displays ancient sculptures, paintings, tapestries and other works that showcase Portuguese culture throughout different time periods.

Sports Teams

  1. Associação Académica de Coimbra was founded in 1887 and is one of the oldest sports clubs in Portugal. The club has teams in various sports including football, basketball, futsal, handball and rugby. The football team has won the Portuguese Cup twice and the second division championship once.
  2. Clube de Futebol União de Coimbra was founded in 1919 as a football club that plays in the district leagues of Portugal.
  3. Ginásio Clube Figueirense was founded in 1921 as a multi-sport club based in Figueira da Foz (a city near Coimbra). The club has teams in various sports including basketball, futsal and volleyball.
  4. Associação Desportiva O Brioso was founded in 1948 as a football club that plays in the district leagues of Portugal.
  5. Sporting Clube Conimbricense was founded in 1947 as a multi-sport club based near Coimbra with teams playing basketball and volleyball among other sports.
  6. Grupo Desportivo da Tocha is based near Coimbra and this multi-sports team was founded on October 20th ,1970 with its main focus on Football but also practicing other modalities such as Volleyball or Table Tennis for example.

Cultural Events

  1. Queima das Fitas is a traditional festival that celebrates the end of the academic year in Coimbra. It takes place in May and includes parades, concerts, and parties.
  2. Festas da Cidade is a celebration of the city of Coimbra that takes place in July. It includes music, dance performances, fireworks, and street markets.
  3. Festival das Artes is an annual arts festival that takes place in July at the Convento de São Francisco. It features music, theater performances, exhibitions, and workshops.
  4. Jazz ao Centro is a jazz festival that takes place throughout the year at various venues in Coimbra.
  5. Festa do Chícharo is a traditional food festival that celebrates a local bean called chícharo. It takes place every year in February or March.
  6. Feira Medieval de Santa Clara-a-Velha transports visitors back to the 14th century with costumes, food stalls and entertainment including jousts and archery contests.
  7. Festival Internacional de Arte Urbana (FIAR) brings artists from around the world to paint murals on buildings throughout Coimbra’s streets giving it an alternative look for days after it ends.
  8. Festa dos Tabuleiros features women carrying large towers made up of bread on their heads through town during July each odd-numbered year which culminates with fireworks over Rio Mondego.
  9. Coimbra em Blues brings together musicians from all over Portugal as well as internationally renowned performers for three days of live concerts usually taking place around June or July since 2001.
  10. Caminhos do Cinema Português showcases the best of Portuguese cinema including short films, documentaries and feature-length movies held annually since 1988 making it Portugal’s longest-running film festival.


  • Chanfana – a traditional dish made with goat meat, wine, and spices. You can try it at A Cozinha da Maria.
  • Leitão à Bairrada – roasted piglet served with potatoes and rice. You can try it at Rei dos Leitões.
  • Arroz de Marisco – seafood rice with clams, prawns, and mussels. You can try it at Restaurante O Trovador.
  • Queijo da Serra – a type of cheese made from sheep’s milk that is produced in the region surrounding Coimbra. You can try it at Queijaria Palácio da Lousã.
  • Pastéis de Santa Clara – a sweet pastry filled with almond cream that was created by the nuns of the Santa Clara convent in Coimbra hundreds of years ago. You can try them at Confeitaria Briosa.
  • Tapas & Petiscos – small plates of food meant for sharing that are popular throughout Portugal. You can find them at Taberna do Mercado or A Taberna do Bispo.
  • Bacalhau – dried salted codfish cooked in various ways such as grilled or stewed. You can find them in most restaurants around Coimbra but some famous places to check out would be Solar do Bacalhau or Restaurante Zé Manel dos Ossos.

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Parque Verde do Mondego: This is a large park located along the Mondego River, which offers visitors walking and cycling paths, picnic areas, playgrounds, and sports facilities.
    2. Jardim Botânico da Universidade de Coimbra: This botanical garden boasts over 1200 species of plants including a greenhouse and a medicinal herb garden.
    3. Parque da Cidade Dr. Manuel Braga: This park features a lake, playgrounds, sports fields, and walking trails.
    4. Quinta das Lágrimas: A historic estate with beautiful gardens and forested areas perfect for hiking.
    5. Mata Nacional do Choupal: A nature reserve situated along the Mondego River that provides hiking trails as well as picnic areas.
    6. Praia Fluvial de Palheiros e Zorro: An artificial beach located on the Mondego River offering swimming areas as well as sun loungers and cafes for visitors to enjoy.
    7. Skate Park Coimbra: A skateboarding park designed for all levels of experience to enjoy themselves in their favorite sport.
    8. Kartódromo Internacional de Coimbra: An outdoor go-karting track open to the public for racing events or individual rentals is also available in this city.

    Note: Please be advised that due to COVID-19 some of these parks or activities may have restrictions or limited access at this time; it is recommended that you check ahead before visiting any public places in Portugal or anywhere else in the world during this pandemic period to ensure safety measures are being followed properly by authorities as well as visitors themselves.


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